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Women in Auto Care hosts virtual awards ceremony

Nov. 5, 2020
The winners of the 2020 Women of the Year Awards were announced live during the Virtual AAPEX Experience.

Women in Auto Care, an organization dedicated to the advancement, education, and empowerment of women within the auto care industry, held their annual awards ceremony during the Virtual AAPEX Experience. The recipients of the 2020 Women of the Year Awards, along with the 2020 Automotive Communications Award winners were announced by Olivia Newton, chair of Women in Auto Care. Announcements for 2021 events were also made.

The 2020 Women of the Year Awards consist of: Auto Care Woman of Excellence, Auto Care Women of the Year, and Female Shop Owner of the Year. All recognize female leaders that have made a significant impact in the automotive industry.

This year’s winner of the Auto Care Woman of Excellence Award was Danielle Sonnefeld, vice president of business development at N.A. Williams Company, a manufacturer representative agency in the auto care industry. Sonnefeld has been a member of Women in Auto Care since 2010 and has served on its board. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of the Aftermarket Foundation and is the co-chair of the scholarship program.

“I am so honored – thrilled – to be recognized by Women in Auto Care,” said Sonnefeld. “We are all fortunate to work in such an amazing industry.”

The winner of Auto Care Woman of the Year was Lauren Beaulieu, vice president of professional marketing at Advance Auto Parts, an American automotive aftermarket parts provider. Beaulieu launched a women’s team member network at Advance called Women in Motion. This network enables women to advance professionally and in an inclusive environment by establishing opportunities for engagement like teaching events, speed networking, and mentoring circles.

“I’m truly honored and grateful for the nomination and award that comes from an industry that I am truly passionate about,” said Beaulieu.

The Female Shop Owner of the Year was awarded to Kim Auernheimer, owner of CS Automotive in Brentwood, Tennessee. In 2006, Kim and her husband started their shop in the back of a warehouse. Now, they are proud owners of a nearly 7,000 sq. ft. facility with 10 bays and eight lifts.

“The path that has come mine is not just a job or career, it is my passion,” said Auernheimer. “It is my desire to see other shops succeed which greatly benefits the families of those shop owners. It is my desire to see the reputation of the industry change and earn the respect that it deserves. And it is my desire to see that the industry continues to evolve and change and welcome even more women and young people into the automotive aftermarket.”

Additionally, Newton shared Women in Auto Care will hold two events in 2021. First, the organization will move back their in-person leadership conference to July 2021 that will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Second, the organization will host their first Women in Auto Care Week. The virtual conference will be held in February 2021. More information on both events will follow.

The award ceremony concluded by sharing the 2020 Automotive Communications Award winners. These awards recognize the achievements in business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets throughout the auto care industry. To view the listing, click here

About the Author

Kayla Oschmann | Assistant Editor | Vehicle Repair Group

Kayla Oschmann is assistant editor for the Vehicle Repair Group.

With an education in journalism and public relations, Oschmann contributes to Fleet MaintenancePTEN, and Professional Distributor magazines, as well as VehicleServicePros.com.

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